Senate Bill 16 has passed in the Senate, and is sitting in the House, however sponsors of the bill claim they will not ask for a vote in the upcoming session.
Under the proposed legislation, Illinois will completely shift how education is funded, taking from school districts with higher incomes and property taxes and giving to those with less.
Recently, District 203 held a meeting at Lincoln Junior High, a chance for Superintendent Dan Bridges to connect with parents and encourage them to take action against the bill.
“I don’t think anyone argues that the current state of funding in Illinois is inadequate, inequitable, and it fails to support schools in a manner that is appropriate to ensure a high quality education for every child in the state of Illinois. But what is at question is whether or not Senate Bill 16 represents the comprehensive funding reform that our state so desperately needs,” said Bridges.
Naperville school District 203 could see a $9.8 million loss in their budget, something that isn’t sitting well with parents or teachers.
“If you take that money away you’re taking solutions away from students and no longer do we know how to solve problems because we’ve figured out already how to do it with the least amount of dollars possible. No one wants to equate dollars with education but unfortunately there are resources we need. If you say we are going to take away $300, well then you choose which books you want to take from a students locker,” said Teacher at Madison Junior High, Catie O’Boyle.
Those who attended discussed the Bill with each other and got their questions answered by Bridges and Senator Mike Connelly, who has previously voted no on the Bill.
“I voted no on Senate Bill 16, I am a 203 parent and taxpayer. My wife and I moved here 26 years ago when we got married for the schools, and although our kids are out of 203 the reputation of 203 is everything we thought it was and more and its incumbent upon me to make sure the next generation of 203 parents has the same,” said Senator Connelly.
While parents felt they left the meeting knowing more about the bill, most were still unsure about what kind of action would be taken.
“I feel like I am more informed, however I feel like the solutions have yet to be addressed. It’s all very well killing the bill, it’s all very well being against the bill, but what’s the alternative,” said District 203 Parent, Behrang Rashidian.
Both school districts are encouraging residents to contact their local representatives to vote no on SB16.